It's a shame it took us so long to visit Paesano's. It’s also a shame that Philly’s cheesesteak reputation tends to overshadow places such as Paesano’s for sandwich lovers. Those who haven't taken a trip here yet are missing out on a gem in both the quality of the food and atmosphere. I’m not sure what I enjoyed more — the old-school charm that comes from a fellow paesan running the place, or the sandwiches. Paesano's reminds of the hoagie joints of a time gone by — simple, unpretentious, and delicious.
The sandwich shop is located on Girard Avenue in Philadelphia, near Northern Liberties. It is a small, crammed place with a blend of mostly locals and others on the hunt for a great sandwich, like us. There is also a second location near the Italian Market across from Fante's. Paesano's is actually the brainchild of Peter McAndrews of the nearby restaurant Modo Mio.
We decided to go with the Bolognese and the Paesano sandwiches. The Diavlo and the Arista appeared to be quite popular choices as well, based on what we heard others ordering.
The Bolognese consists of fried lasagna, meat sauce, sweet peppers, mozzarella, provolone, and a fried egg. You will not have a sandwich like this anywhere else and it is stunningly good. All the ingredients work perfectly together. For Italians like me, this is a home run and I wonder why I haven’t seen anywhere else.
The Paesano is the perfect blend of beef brisket, horseradish mayo, peperoncino, roasted tomatoes, provolone, and a fried egg. The brisket was perfect and I loved the kick from the peperoncino. The egg and the roasted tomatoes are perfect additions to this sandwich.
It is difficult to choose a winner, but after switching between bites of each, the Paesano took first place for Bradd. Kristy preferred the Bolognese. Surely, you can’t go wrong with either. I’d order both and see what you can finish.
Thank you Paesano’s. Keep doing what you are doing. You’ve done Philly proud and showed that there's more to this city's sandwich pedigree than just cheesesteaks.
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